- condition or quality of being formal; accordance with required or traditional rules, procedures, etc.; conventionality.
- rigorously methodical character.
- strict adherence to established rules and procedures; rigidity.
- observance of form or ceremony.
- marked or excessive ceremoniousness.
- an established order or method of proceeding: the formalities of judicial process.
- a formal act or observance.
- something done merely or mainly for form's sake; a requirement of custom or etiquette: the formality of a thank-you note.
Origin of formality
SynonymsSee more synonyms for formality on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for formality
It was both stylish and somber while being suitably grand for the formality of the occasion.Kate Middleton, the Preggers Fashion Princess
November 14, 2014
Early marriage is mostly a formality, but girls traditionally leave school at that time.The Sad Hidden Plight of Child Grooms
September 18, 2014
These cities want to be the next London, and when they look at that city, they see order and formality.Great Cities are Born Filthy
July 13, 2014
The ownership agreement, which is “quite unique,” Feldman said, is pretty much a formality.Whose Elephant Is It?
December 9, 2012
And his relaxation of evening formality—without losing the exquisite pleasure of dressing up—was as refreshing as a sigh.Raf’s Ready-to-Wear Debut at Dior
September 28, 2012
A soldier-like and becoming answer was returned to this formality.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
Lady Coryston had approached her with the formality of a stranger.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
After this they all went through the formality of denying God and the Saints.
There is an honest degree of orderly disorder, and an absence of formality.Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)
William Delisle Hay
Captain Elisha had told him not to stand on formality, to come any time, and he did.Cap'n Warren's Wards
Joseph C. Lincoln
- a requirement of rule, custom, etiquette, etc
- the condition or quality of being formal or conventional
- strict or excessive observance of form, ceremony, etc
- an established, proper, or conventional method, act, or procedure
Word Origin and History for formality
1530s, "agreement as to form," from Middle French formalité (15c.) or directly from Latin formalis "formal" (see formal). Originally "literary form;" meaning "something done for the sake of form" is from 1590s. Related: Formalities.